Miamisun - 6/3/2004 1:10 PM
I'm considering buying a 1975 280C with the M110 engine, its in perfect condition with only 51,000 miles on it. What would I be getting myself into? I would like to use it as a commuter car, would this be a good idea? Any responses would be appreciated
First of all, be suspicious of the mileage. Either is has rolled over or it's stopped working which is not rare on these cars.
The twin cam M110 engine is an very reliable, solid and versatile power plant. The carb(s) can be a challenge to deal with yourself - I'd keep my eye open for a 280CE or in other words one that is injected. BUT if you have a little money for the carb, go for it - Solex/Stromberg carbs are great carbs and last a long time when set properly. Twin carbs suck though, as I said. I've rebuilt this exact engine before - be careful, I find the engine's weakness is the timing chain teeth, sometimes they tend to brake in these engines! But I am sure it's just if people bag them all the time.
The W114 coupes and sedans are great cars. I've owned two but not for long because of the rust. I'd love to own one, but they are rare without rust in my area. Be discriminating for rust and body quality - because a small patch you find could be a major cancer, because rust are these car's number one enemy.
As far as a commuter car, yes! These cars get better the more you drive them. If it only has that many miles on it and it can be confirmed, be wary of engine damage. Seals and other things tend to blow when it sits for a long time leading to spontaneous oil burning. A secret is to run the engine WITHOUT the air box on it. I have found that you can detect the initial stages of burning oil this way.
Other than that, these cars are neat, safe, reliable and solid. Go for it if everything checks out!!!